Trail Nutrition: Planning and Prepping Backcountry Meals

By Liz Shirley May 27, 2021

Wilderness Cooking

Preparing backcountry meals and focusing on trail nutrition is important when planning meals for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you’re organizing a day hike, overnight camping trip, or multi-day backcountry adventure, maintaining good nutrition while exploring the outdoors is key to have a good time on your next adventure.

First on the list? Be sure to start your day off right with a good breakfast. That’s the meal that will set the tone for your day and jumpstart your metabolism. Throughout the day, that morning meal will help you maintain good blood sugar levels and energy.

Planning a Backcountry Menu

Here’s the deal when it comes to planning a backcountry menu: You need to find a balance between getting enough food (calories) to sustain yourself and stay well fed and warm, while not overdoing it and ending up hauling an unnecessary amount of weight on your back.

Depending on the weather, mileage, pack weight, activity, incline of the trail, and other factors, you’ll want to consider your group’s necessary daily calorie intake. Common sense tells us that if you’re planning to be more active than usual, you’ll burn through more calories.

For a multi-day backpacking trip, a good average is 3,500 calories a day per person. A good baseline is a limit of 1.5 pounds to 2.5 pounds of food per person, based on how strenuous you expect your trip to be.

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How and Why to Remove Junk Food from Your Backpack

By Stephen Mullaney June 6, 2017

Backcountry Prep

“What’s fructose? What’s GMO? What do these words mean?

These are some of the questions my 9-year-old daughter asked me last June as the family shopped for good snacks for a backpacking trip. By July, my daughter had vowed to stop eating food with “junk” in it. And to date, she has kept her word.

Take a tour of your local grocery store, and peruse the list of ingredients on the back or side of the packaging of many of those so-called healthy snacks. You might be unpleasantly surprised to find that an abundance of these products tout themselves as containing all natural ingredients, when in actuality they contain just the opposite.

It’s a bad habit, but often when we shop for those “in-between foods” (between meals), we’ll grab up what looks good or is easy to pack. Or we find ourselves purchasing items out of habit or convenience. But the truth is on the trail:

Sugary, high-calorie snacks never translate into positive energy.

Time for Change

We’ve all experienced the benefits of using (more…)

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